KCRA-TV of Sacramento, CA reports:
Soon, visitors at Sacramento’s Sutter Memorial Hospital will be able to use cell phones in patient rooms.
“We have a body of experience that, with a few exceptions, cell phones don’t create a risk to patients,” said Sutter engineer Jon Rice.
For years, it was thought that radiation from cell phones interfered with hospital equipment. But new research shows current cell phones don’t seem to be a problem.
“Sutter tested much of its medical equipment with cell phones, and our testing process indicated there were no problems as long as the cell phone was 3 feet away from the medical device,” Rice said.
But it’s the fear of interference that’s keeping other Sacramento hospitals from lifting their cell phone bans. And there are other issues to consider, like the disruptions.
“It is an issue with patient privacy. Patients’ medical conditions may be inadvertently disclosed to people who shouldn’t know anything about that information,” said KCRA HealthWatch 3’s Dr. Tom Hopkins.
And how does one enforce a no-cell phone rule anyway?
FYI, the British Medical Journal has called for a revision of current guidelines of cell phone use in hospitals in March, 2003 issue. The controversy, however, still lingers…